Work to start on £73m new North Wing at Altnagelvin

The proposed new Main Entrance to Altnagelvin Hospital with new North Wing ward block behind.

The proposed new Main Entrance to Altnagelvin Hospital with new North Wing ward block behind.

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Contracts were today approved for a new £73m ward block at Altnagelvin Hospital to replace aging wards in the tower block as well a major £3m upgrade to day surgery theatres at the hospital.

Health Minister Michelle O’Neill MLA confirmed the award of two significant contracts as soon as they were signed off this afternoon at the Western Health and Social Care Trust’s monthly board meeting at Altnagelvin.

The proposed new Caf� area is in main entrance zone at Altnagelvin Hospital as part of the North Wing Development.

The proposed new Caf� area is in main entrance zone at Altnagelvin Hospital as part of the North Wing Development.

Northstone (NI) Ltd has been awarded a £35,953,421.64 contract to build the new North Wing building at Altnagelvin Area Hospital.

This will form part of a £73.5million project at the Altnagelvin site, which will include six inpatient ward areas, a new main entrance to the hospital and relocation of the car parking facilities.

The North Wing building is scheduled to be finished in December 2019. Meanwhile TAL Ltd has also been awarded a £1,912,0000 contract to provide new Day Surgery Theatres at Altnagelvin Hospital.

This forms part of a separate £3.3million project, which is planned to become operational from January 2018, and will involve the refurbishment of existing theatre space and redesign of services.

Example of the new staff bases in the new North Wing ward block at Altnagelvin Hospital.

Example of the new staff bases in the new North Wing ward block at Altnagelvin Hospital.

It will provide additional daycase theatre capacity to address immediate theatre pressures at Altnagelvin Hospital.

The developments come in the same week that the new £66m North West Cancer Centre opened at Altnagelvin.

Commenting on the announcements, the Minister said: “This significant investment by the Executive will deliver a first class, state of the art facility for patients and families in Derry and the North West and will create a fit for purpose working environment for staff in Altnagelvin.

“These new facilities are important to ensure that patients have access to high quality health care delivered in a modern clinical and therapeutic environment, and to enhance operating theatre infrastructure capacity at Altnagelvin which will help to address the current waiting times for surgery.”

Elaine Way, Chief Executive of the Western Health and Social Care Trust described the developments as “fantastic news” after they were presented before the board by its Director of Strategic Capital Development, Alan Moore this afternoon.

Speaking about the new North Wing, she also said: “The Western Trust is delighted that the contractor has been appointed and we now look forward to this exciting next stage of the redevelopment of Altnagelvin Hospital.

“This new building is the first phase of the major development to upgrade accommodation for all inpatient services currently located in the Tower Block of the hospital.

“The site for the North Wing is beside the existing hospital Tower Block and we have already undertaken some enabling works to facilitate the construction.

“This has included relocating some buildings and the construction of a new multi-storey car park which opened in October 2015.

“These are exciting times for the hospital following the completion of the £66million Radiotherapy Unit and now the North Wing. The Trust is delighted to be able to deliver services from the most modern patient centred facilities.”

In July 2013, the Department for Health approved the business case for the North Wing Development at a capital investment of £73.5million, including enabling works to clear the site for the new building.

Capital investment of £3.3m for the new Day Surgery Theatres project was approved in November 2016.